Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Flood - what the councils say

CMBC & NCC have issued a joint leaflet of advice for people whose homes have been flooded. I'll post it (with annotations) below - meanwhile I gather:
i) we may be getting a visit from the relevant Minister - John Healey MP - tomorrow (Monday).
ii) people who have been flooded out and are on the official list for rehousing should here from Castle Morpeth Housing by the end of this week. (Get in touch with your local councillor if they haven't)
iii) The FirstCall office on Bridge Street was flooded and is unusable - but the 01670 535000 number will be answered - and the Town Hall is being converted into an temporary information centre
iv) the wall that collapsed near the Leisure Centre was not part of the flood defence
v) there'll be newsletters published daily
and vi) there's a risk that we may have more flooding from Weds onwards

And so - the official advice:

IMPORTANT We are advised that mains water is safe to drink and use.
Please wash your hands after handling flood damaged material.

RETURNING TO YOUR PROPERTY - Advice from the Environment Agency
§ Take care as there may be hidden dangers in the flood water like sharp objects, raised manhole covers and pollution.
§ Flood water could have caused structural damage to your property.
§ Ring your buildings and contents insurance company as soon as possible
§ In almost all cases the insurance company will send a loss adjuster to look at your property. They will confirm what repairs and replacements are needed and covered by your policy.
§ If you rent your property, contact your Landlord and your contents insurance company as soon as possible.
§ If you do not have insurance, your local council should be able to provide information on hardship grants or charities that may be able to help you.



As a safety precaution, CE Electric would like to offer householders the following advice:
  • Switch off your power supply at the fuse box if your electrical installation is likely to be affected by water.
  • Do NOT operate equipment which is in water or while standing in water. Stay away from any live equipment submerged in water.
  • If your internal wiring or appliances have been affected by water, please have them checked by an approved Electrical Contractor before switching your power back on.

UTILITY ADVICE Gas leaks should be reported to 0800 111 999

HEALTH ADVICE from the Health Protection Agency
Infection problems arising from floods in this country are rare. Usually any harmful bugs in floodwater become very diluted and present a low risk, but there are a few precautions to be aware of when dealing with flooding which should prevent unnecessary additional health problems:
Wherever possible, try to avoid coming into direct contact with floodwater. If you have to go into the water, wear waterproof gloves and rubber boots and remember to be careful of potentially concealed hazards.
Wash your hands — this is the most important way to get rid of harmful bugs. Use warm, clean water and soap, then rinse and dry your hands after going to the toilet, before eating or preparing food, after being in contact with flood water, sewage or with items that have been in the water. Use cold water to wash if warm is not available. If there is no clean water, use disposable soapy, wet wipes to carefully clean all parts of your hands and dry them.
Use waterproof plasters.
Keep children out of the water
Don’t eat any food that has been touched or covered by floodwater or sewage.

What if I start to feel unwell?

If you feet unwell this does not necessarily mean that you are suffering from any infection. If you are concerned, then call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or visit your family doctor.
Both the physical stress associated with overexertion in cleaning up premises and the mental stress caused by temporary relocation may make you feel unwell. Remember that tiredness, difficulty steeping and anxiety are normal in these circumstances and may go away with time. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, contact friends, relations or your family doctor. And keep warm — cold can lead to hypothermia.

What Castle Morpeth Borough Council’s doing now:
• CMBC Green and Clean teams have started to clear debris from streets in the affected areas in Morpeth
• Skips are being placed near to homes in affected areas for residents’ use
• The Council is currently assessing what needs to be done to assist residents and will be working with all key agencies to do this
• The council will continue to offer advice through FirstCall Castle Morpeth on 01670 535000.
• If you’re worried about what to do after a flood or about safeguarding your property if there is more rain, check the environment agency website on

What Northumberland County Council is doing now:
• The County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service are pumping out water from streets in Morpeth. • Alternative accommodation is being found for those who need it.
• Highways officers are inspecting bridges, roads, signage, ditches for damage and to ensure that roads and transport links are safe for use by the public.
• A clean up operation has begun — council staff are removing sludge and debris from the roads and pavements.
• Northumberland Care Trust and the County Council are assessing needs of vulnerable people to see what help and support can be offered.

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